In celebration of Scoliosis Awareness Month, here’s an excerpt from The Beautiful Scoliotic Back, Erin’s inspirational book that teaches you how to take an active role in determining how scoliosis will affect your life:

“I think the back is the most beautiful part of the human body, even ones that are a bit different because of the spiral spines that are etched into them.

“My passion, love and admiration for backs began when I was enrolled in a classical ballet school during high school. For hours each day, I’d be in a room with a bunch of other sweaty teenaged girls wearing tights and a leotard. Our leotards were low in the back so I could see the gorgeous, defined muscles in each girl’s back. I actually remember looking at a girl’s back one day and thinking that a particular muscle group looked like a beautiful Christmas tree stretching across her back. Who knew that many years later, I’d be instructing anatomy classes and teaching others that the Christmas tree was actually the rhomboid muscles?

“People often ask me how I came to specialize in scoliotic corrective exercise. The simple answer is that scoliosis doesn’t scare me. I’ve worked with bodies that, quite frankly, scare a lot of other body practitioners like children, amputees, and individuals who are grossly overweight. Others are frightened because they don’t know what to do with these clients, they’re afraid of hurting them or they don’t want to make their conditions worse. I’ve taken courses specifically on scoliosis, sifted through mounds of scoliosis research, and experimented firsthand with what works and what doesn’t by practicing on my own body and my clients’ bodies.

“I have a deep passion for teaching others about scoliosis: clients, parents whose children have been diagnosed with scoliosis, Pilates teachers, you name it. Oftentimes, people shy away from talking about scoliosis as if the very word is too forbidden or scary to discuss. I’m here to tell you that’s just not so.

“I have scoliosis and it hasn’t stopped me from living an abundantly full life. I was diagnosed at the age of 14 with a 17 degree “S” curve in my spine. Through different hormonal stages in my life, my scoliosis has worsened. Yet I’ve danced with the Radio City Rockettes, owned a successful Pilates studio, and birthed two healthy boys. A diagnosis of scoliosis is nothing to be scared of and it certainly isn’t the end of the world.”

Embrace the beauty of your scoliotic back, stay strong, and spread the word about scoli during National Scoliosis Month.